"THEY can be your pet or your food; they're quite versatile really."
So sums up why Brisbane Ekka vet Dr Joanne Hanssens loves working with livestock.
Since Saturday, she has been away from her traditional work and home at Roma in western Queensland to ensure the bovines were at their most divine.
For the most part, the cattle were dealing with lameness - soreness in joints or when moving - or a mild reaction to a vaccine.
But one two-year-old bull managed to keep her attention, as it struggled with pneumonia and was kept in what the vets call the "beef hospital".
Dr Hanssens was cautious with specifics about Gus because even livestock had access to patient-doctor confidentiality, but she described him as her "little buddy".
"He was pretty sick for a couple of days and he is doing better now," Dr Hanssens said.
In her six days, she has worked with on-edge livestock owners preparing their animals for sale and a barn of nursery animals.
She has also seen livestock dressed up in an Arabian Nights theme for a school contest, and at least one owner showcasing their cattle complete with hairspray and subtle glittering.
On Thursday, she handed over to colleague Dr Katherine Beaton, and was exhausted by also ready to return in 2013.
"By about day three, I'm quite happy to go home but by the time I'm handing over - well I can't wait until next year," she said.